Sundance BuzzCheck™: 'A Raisin in the Sun'

Raisininthesundiddy_lI just got back from this evening’s premiere of A Raisin in the Sun. The film — based on Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 play about a poor African-American family living in 1950s — screened here at Sundance in advance of its Feb. 25th airing on ABC. The audience couldn’t have been more excited to see the cast (Sean Combs, Audra McDonald, Sanaa Lathan, and Phylicia Rashad, all of whom were in the play’s 2004 Broadway revival) in the flesh. Camera flashes strobed nonstop as they entered before the movie started, and a standing ovation capped the closing credits. When post-show Q&A time came, viewers gushed over young star Justin Martin, who put the mic to his chest to show how fast his heart was beating. But the star everyone seemed particularly excited to see was Rashad. Every time the actress gave that mischievous you-better-not-be-messing-with-me look in Raisin, the crowd snickered with delight. And when the erstwhile Clair Huxtable took the stage to talk about what the remake meant to her, she received a standing-O of her own. Stay tuned for more from the cast, who I talked to this morning…

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Comments (11 total) Add your comment
  • ceej

    She spoke at my college graduation. Rashad has SUCH a presence, she brought the to-capactity Georgia Dome to sit in silence for a full 5 minutes. I wish I could have seen her perform live on stage.

  • vw

    It’s good to see Rashad again. I’ve always loved her and her sister Debbie Allen. She has few equals.

  • eric

    I saw this production on Broadway. If the film is anything like the stage version, Rashad and Audra McDonald will COMPLETELY steal the show! The other two were no match for those two incredible performers.

  • Not a white woman

    While I understand the movie and its message, I am offended by the usage of “cracker” and whatnot referring to white people. I am not white and I find these types of comments reverse discrimination.

  • paulette

    Regarding A Raisin in the Sun the film.
    I have the Utmost respect for The Allen Sister, but the casting of Mr. Coombs as Walter, was a terrible mistake. You should have tried to get Mr. Terrence Howard.
    Mr. Combs was terrible in the Film Version. And the Acting was terrible. I was really embarrased for you Ms. Allen, and I now question your skills as a Director.
    My Husband and I was anxiously awaiting to see the picture last night. After I had enough I just turned to another station.
    Next time do not accept someone on your ship, because of their popularity. You should have chosen someone else to be walter . Mr. Coombs just did not have that magic.
    Again I have great respect for you Ms. Allen, But that man ruined your name.

  • Clarkston’s Mommy

    I thought “Puffy” did a good job, P. Rashad was also great in this movie, the whole cast was wonderful!!!!!

  • Shorte

    The TV version of “A Raisin in the Sun” was great once you excused the extremely poor acting by Sean Combs. Everyone else featured in the film: Ms. Rashad, Ms. McDonald, and Ms. Lathan were outstanding. They were extremely believable and extremely tapped into their characters. Ms. Rashad caused chills to run through my body. I wished they would have cast Don Cheadle as Walter. He would have brought the correct integrity to character. Even with Puffy’s Pitiful Portrayal, I would watch the movie again in a heart beat!

  • Lissa

    I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of “A Raisin in The Sun” to air as I remember this play as a little girl. I thought Audra McDonald, Sanaa Lathan, and Phylicia Rashad did an amazing job, while Mr. Combs failed in his protrayal of Walter Lee, he is great at producing, looking good, and making beautiful babies, but this is one he should have left alone to the professionals.

  • disappointed

    To put Sean Combs in the role of Walter in “Raisin in the Sun” was a travesty. It makes me think that his acting must have been measured by his pocketbook. The rest of the cast were truly great but when Mr. Combs came on the screen it made me want to look away. His face seems to have no expression and his acting ability was horrible. Someone was asleep at the wheel to let this great piece of Americana be ruined by one when there are so many great black actors available. So dissapointed. It makes me want to see the truly great job that Mr. Poitier did. Remaking a classic ???? Didn’t work again.

  • Anonymous

    Sean Combs…terrible. Can’t act his way out of a paper bag. I gave the film a shot but couldn’t take Combs acting. The rest of the cast, impeccable.

  • Alex

    Yeah, it was Listen 2 This. I liked those, but then they started not being exclusively about music, (they started to include video games & comic books too) pipeline cleaning undefined

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